Archive for the ‘cafes’ Category

So I watching a short film movie this evening after quite a hectic day at the cafe,i think this is the ultimate in baristas revenge to those select customers,who misunderstand cafe etiquitte,and i imagine this scenario has gone through your mind when your up to your eyeballs with orders,no matter how hard you try to accommodate to everyones needs.It reminds me of a part in Toby Cecchini’s book- Cosmopolitan:A bartenders Life where he grabs a patron by the hair and drags them out of his bar Passerby in New York after catching them stealing wines from him,A worthy read for any bartender or anyone who is in the industry.Other books to add to the collection is Anthony Bourdain Kitchen Confidential and Waiting:True Confessions of a waitress by Debra Ginsberg


L.A. What can I say

Posted: December 15, 2008 in beer, cafes, Coffee, travel, weather

Just had 3 days of work after arriving home from L.A. hanging out with Deaton and Julia and the crew at Intelly,although it was winter,i found it rather strange to be walking around L.A. in shorts and t-shirt and donning my hoodie in the evening.
So Kylie and I arrived in LAX,collected our bags and asked around to find the Hertz bus that will take us to where our car is waiting.After a 10 min bus ride we arrived at the service counter and was greeted by a somewhat cheery lady with coke bottle glasses and ginger hair,she was nice enough but after spending a few minutes giving our details to her,everything started to go downhill,she couldnt find our booking for the car on her records,although i gave her all the paperwork that was needed,ref.numbers and names passport,licenses the works,still no love,so after almost 20 min she looks over to her screen and works out she mis typed and inserted a wrong number,so error fixed,now we have to change terminals to do a print out of renting contracts and all that,at this stage i was hanging for a coffee and breakfast,and my attention span started to wonder.
by this stage it has taken almost half an hour for her to work out the terminal and Kylie is starting to get annoyed and me just getting anxious without having my brew in the morning.Almost an hour has now passed and im getting very irritated,and might i say it was warm and humid by this stage<finally we are set and ready to start our adventures in L.A. until we get to the car,no gps like we had just paid for so off i go back to the office to see what was going on,and 20 mins later we were given a new car with gps and we are ready to roll.
So Kylie punches in the addy to Intelligentsia cafe in Silverlake and we go on as instructed by the voice in the box.
Its now a good 10 mins on the road and i get back my aggressive driving style that i had when living in Sydney,and we had fun trying to get back on the freeway after taking a wrong turn off or two but are now back in business.after finding a parking spot i get out of the car eager to have nourishment and walk around the corner to Intelly cafe

After Re-fuelling its off to the roast works to meet Deaton


After getting the grand tour we headed of to Deatons for some beers


This goes on my favourites list of beers.

After A few cooling ales it was off to dinner and we met up with Brent,Ryan,Monica and Ashley


Posted: October 3, 2008 in cafes, Coffee, snow, Tattoo, travel, Uncategorized, weather

So its been quite a while since the last post.
here it is in a nutshell.
went to toronto for a day to get momiji,alex,and sam ready for the eastern regionals,the guys did very well sam 1st,momiji 4th,alex 5th.
started to train for the western regionals but i had to pull my trainee out due to an ankle injury,which was a bummer as alicia was doing quite well.
started to go through the motions of hiring staff for the second cafe,which meant loads of training to get the new staff up to speed,some didnt survive so i kept up the mission in search of staff.which meant not being in the cafe for over 2 months in the dungeon,kylie looked after the cafe as i wasnt there that much,do miss the regulars.
went to the calgary tattoo convention,got bummed out as i found out that my chosen artist was sent home by the canadian immigration….boo-urns.
in steps nick chaboya who answered my desparate email the night before,by this time i came to the realisation that kyie and i arent getting any ink done,when lo and behold the ink gods smiled on us and granted us ink.7 hours later i had a new calf piece which also took out tattoo of the day,thanks nick,i cant wait to get some more ink off you in cali,sorry i couldnt make it to the barcelona and london convention.
whistler had their first snowfall last week…woo hoo,bring that shit on,so over summer and fake tans and tanning salons

tommorrow we have a soft opening for wicked 2,and a good friend of mine jenny goes back to switzerland after visiting me,its been almost 5 years since i saw her last,so cool to catch up

the bosses had a baby boy…yay for mihwa and brad.oh and woo hoo for their other baby….wicked 2

More on the big green

Posted: August 3, 2008 in cafes, Coffee, starbucks, weather

Coffee culture grinds Starbucks’ Australian operation
August 3, 2008, 1:38 pm

August 3, 2008, 8:40 pm
SYDNEY (AFP) – Starbucks hit a roadblock trying to export its business model to Australia, a robust coffee culture where customers already knew the difference between a macchiato and an affogato, local traders say.

The US giant announced last week that it would close 61 of its 84 Australian outlets by Sunday, saying “challenges unique to the Australian market” were behind the decision, which cost almost 700 jobs.

The statement from Starbucks’ head office in Seattle did not say what made Australia different, but did point out: “There are no other international markets that need to be addressed in this manner.”

Starbucks Asia Pacific president John Culver was more forthcoming about why the company was on the retreat in Australia, eight years after opening its first store in Sydney.

“I think what we’ve seen is that Australia has a very sophisticated coffee culture,” he said in a newspaper interview.

A wave of post-war immigrants from Turkey, Greece and particularly Italy means that for decades Australians had been enjoying the “coffee experience” Starbucks virtually created from scratch in the United States.

Both Sydney and Melbourne have Italian enclaves lined with cafes where old men sip espressos at outdoor tables through the day and trendy young couples gather in the evening for a caffeine fix.

Starbucks’ idea of making itself a “third place” in customers’ lives between home and work was a novelty in the United States, where in many small towns cafe culture consisted of filter coffee on a hot plate.

But Melbourne cafe owner Jeremy Jenkins said the situation was different in Australia, where baristas have been plying their trade at steaming espresso machines since the 1950s.

“People come in our cafe because they know us and they know they’ll get good coffee, we’re part of the local community,” Jenkins told AFP.

“Starbucks is a McDonald’s coffee experience. It’s not about the quality of the coffee, it’s about convenience and location.”

Starbucks also closed 600 stores in the United States early last month in a move widely seen as a response to belt-tightening among customers less inclined to spend money on luxuries like coffee in tough economic times.

Commentators have suggested similar problems hit Starbucks in Australia, but the queues outside the Met Cafe in central Sydney on a recent windy winter’s day indicated many customers were not yet ready to sacrifice their coffee hit.

Met Cafe owner Brendan Smart said Starbucks had expanded too quickly in Australia.

“A few years ago there weren’t that many of them and they seemed to be going OK, but then all of a sudden, they were everywhere,” he told AFP.

“Some city blocks had three Starbucks on them — it’s crazy.”

Smart said many customers had told him they did not want to buy their coffee from a corporate giant and those who had tried Starbucks were not impressed by the product, saying it did not compare with the numerous local brews available.

“What we do isn’t rocket science, I’m the first to admit that, but you’ve got to have a passion for coffee that involves everything from grinding the beans to operating the machine,” he said.

“You go into Starbucks and it’s full of teenagers behind the counter. I’d question whether they have that passion.”

Starbucks now plans to streamline its operation to 23 stores in Australia’s largest cities Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

So news so far at home is that Starbucks will close 61 stores in Australia,with 85 stores nationally,it would be a huge dent on the market.

Although Im not sad to see them pull up stumps and go.
I remember the early days in Sydney When they first came into town and opened up near the cafe i was working at in Chatswood and the staff at Starbucks Would walk around to our place and harrass the customers with their versions of a short black served in a plastic cup,and our customers would just look at the guys and look at me to see if that was cool to do and i would say go ahead put it up against the one i made you and see which one you like.The look on the faces was just priceless.

I was probably a little sadistic at that point,so instead of letting the pain continue i had to ask the starbucks staff not to harass my customers again.

With the Australian espresso culture being so strong i am surprised that they managed to have survived so long,but then again what would the international students drink?

After two weeks in Calgary helping Paul Brassard and Mark Nolan with their cafe,im feeling some what re energised being home and relaxing with a day of canoeing in deep cove and sunshine under my belt.
deVille coffee will be the the swankiest sexiest cafe in canada,period.I havnt seen a cafe set up like this since being home in oz.deVille will be a healthy addition to the Calgary coffee scene,while still in construction mode interested on lookers were peeking in and commenting on the construction and asking on the opening date,to which Paul replied….soon,would you like a coffee?
So we gave away a lot of coffees to onlookers while i was training the guys,not a bad way for word to get around and free press,the word got around so fast that a food critic came by to check out deVille.I also dropped by Phil and Sebastians and checked out their new set up as they now have a synesso and an fb80 on the go,also i dropped by cafe beano while i was there and had a coffee,i didnt get a chance to drop into bumpys but the next trip to Calgary ill make sure ill check them out.A big disappointment on the crawl was cafe Artigiano,we ordered 4 lattes and mine had to be the super hot one and i wasnt able to drink it,although the cafe was busy it seems the consistency was out.
Unfortunately i wasnt around long enough to attend Calgary’s barista jam which was held a few days after i left,it wouldve been fun to hang out with the local talent,Calgary will be hosting their first regional competition for the upcoming canadians.
I will post photos of deVille when Paul sends me some pics so stay tuned,and if your in Calgary drop in on the guys,they’re located in the arts central building downtown

So lets get things straight

Wicked cafe will be opening a second location somewhere in vancouver,where it is i cannot say….Yet!
So keep your eyes peeled for us opening in a neighbourhood near you.